Saturday, May 12, 2018

Money Matters

I continue to have a love hate relationship with money. I love and appreciate the quality of life and investment I can make with it in myself, my family, and my community. I hate that it too often occupies my mind when I worry about having enough for the previously stated positives, college, and retirement. The prospect of being under insured or multiple years hitting our out of pocket deductible scares me.  Still, I vow not to be a Scrooge McDuck and hoard. I see no purpose in amassing more money than needed for the life we want. Though still, I don't want to be  loose with funds then later whine when we have to take a priority out of our goals. Some may think this is a stupid aspiration, but I want to leave a bit of a financial legacy to my children and perhaps future grandchildren, so keeping ourselves insured and looking out for retirement savings is crucial. I want my kids to have a safety net while their crocheting their own. 

For my own accountability I try to post moments of savings and spending. I can later look back and decide if they added enough value to justify the cost, or if I skimped too much and should have invested more. It's a balancing act. 

  • We had a Wednesday night supper of cleaning out the odds and ends of the freezer. It pretty much was just oven baking items-a pizza, boneless buffalo chicken, and sweet potato fries, but we all had long days at work and school, got home well past 6:00 and no one felt like cooking. There was even a couple slices of pizza left for DH to warm up on Thursday. With the remnants of salad fixings and fruit, not any worse nutritionally than had we picked up take out, and we used up stuff that might have ended up wasted. Not that we made a difficult choice, but it is so easy to justify take out when our schedules are busy.
  • It was my turn to pick up the coffee tab with my friend and colleague N. I had left home extra early and my stomach was rumbling and with my new medication, need to eat something. I added a bowl of apple cinnamon oatmeal to my coffee order, and N just had an Americano. With a tip, it came in at just shy of $15. Spendy yes, but it was my first work indulgence of the month. In the future, I would plan better and not spend over $4 for oatmeal when a couple instant oatmeal packets would have been 1/8th the price, but in general, I am OK with this splurge. 
  • It is employee appreciation week, to coincide with teacher appreciation week. There have been some extra social events such as a desert bar crawl and Thursday was a double food truck day. Having just splurged on coffee, I skipped both the Hockey Mom's Brownie truck, though so hard to do, but at $5 a brownie, I didn't need the expense nor calories. I also skipped the Tator Tot truck. I did enjoy the music played by coworkers while I ate my canned soup, from my desk stash. 
  • Oh, and I participated in the bar crawl by making "blondies" with a $1 cake mix, and part of the leftover stash of chocolate chips from Christmas baking. I had a meeting at the same time, so didn't get to to partake in the treats, but a lovely coworker set out my bars for me and selected a couple of her favorite bars for me to sample on Wednesday morning. 
  • I was happy to learn back pay raise funds for the portion of my job between July 1 and July 26th  were added on my check this week. While I was expecting only a little bump of about $55 net since my positioned changed on July 26, I learned I actually got the back pay from July 1 to my official promotion date of November 15 so my check had a few hundred more in it. Coworkers were discussing the back pay ( I had already gotten another back pay from my new position from November 15-March 31), some quite substantial since it was nearly 10 months of their raise in one check. Many were putting towards expenses already committed or boosting a savings account, but more than one decided it was pure mad money. Me, I'll mentally be  applying it towards the financial blip for our trip.
  • For Mothers Day, DH and his siblings are each going in $75 for a watch type  emergency alert. This is more than double what we would have typically spent on a MD gift with taking her out for brunch, but I think it will be worth every penny and then some for peace of mind. She is an active  and mostly healthy 77 year old, but lives and drives frequently out of town to visit friends and relatives alone. 
  • I donated $10 to the baccalaureate breakfast for graduating seniors. Not required, but church hopes parents of juniors help with effort and expenses.
  • Yesterday was cold and with my day off, I thought a crock pot soup was in order. This was my cheapo Pasta Fagiole soup, that even using non sale ingredients makes a huge crock full for around $5, feeding us well, plus some for the freezer or future lunches for me. I rescued some hidden asparagus by cutting the wilted-slimy tips, but threw the stalks into the soup for added nutritional value and neither family member noticed. 
  • I find the Dollar Tree a bit of a money suck. I needed a confirmation card so intentionally only walked in with 53 cents. Am I being too tight, or did I save myself not buying  $1 priced stuff I don't need? 
What were your spending saves and splurges for the week? Would you have spent similarly to me in the past week?


  1. I was traveling this week, so spent $0, but it sounds like M & Sam went out a few times, as they were home on their own. I did pick up pizza from the grocery store last night after my flight. Couldn't face cooking - too jet lagged!

    Sounds like you did well with a lot of activities planned over the past week.

    1. Some spending is must a given for the work world, isn't it?

  2. I don't think you goal to leave a legacy is off. I know many people who are "frugal" may not agree - but I too plan to leave a legacy. I am in the "I am frugal in areas that really don't matter to me or my family so that I can indulge in other areas" camp. So, while I look for ways to save where I can, I also plan my spending to include saving toward legacy goals.

    1. My parents left a bit and DH's parents put some funds in college accounts. I'd like to do the same.

  3. I feel exactly like you do, the problem is, I don't know what is can we gauge how long we will live, our heath, etc. and still be able to leave money for our kids. I wish I didn't stress over money so much but....

    Teacher appreciation week was a blessing for me - I got a Jack's Urban Eats gift card, Mimi's gift card, Sprouts gift card, Lazy Dog gift card, tons of diet coke, and a beautiful plant for my garden....and I'm not even a teacher - I just volunteer in there 3 times a week!!!! We have the BEST parents!!!

    1. Wow, nice appreciation gifts. Obviously no one really knows how long we have. The experts say were doing it right, but there's no certainty.

  4. I think if you have to question what/why you are spending, then you need to make changes, either by spending less, or spending more.
    Since you asked, in no particular order: If it were me, (which if it were, it wouldn't be) I would have skipped the dessert trawl/food truck, I possibly would have baked something, but only if I felt like baking something, not because I had to follow the herd. I am not a fan of artificial appreciation days in any case. (Teacher's, Secretary's) I think it's almost insulting to my intelligence to have to set up a week to thank people for doing the job they chose to do in the first place.
    I wouldn't have bought a fancy coffee--don't like drinking empty calories, and would have been galled to spend that on oatmeal, but, hey, you have to eat. If I were trying to roll together funds for something special, I wouldn't have gone into the shop to begin with, perhaps asked her to go for a walk.
    I would have certainly contributed to the alert system for your mother, but only if she thought she needed it, and it wasn't something she would get for herself. No way I would venture into a restaurant for Mother's Day brunch under any circumstance, either for my mother or myself. (I am not a big fan of artificial appreciation events anyway. If I want to give a gift I will when *I* feel like it, not when the calendar tells me.)
    I would have probably cooked the same way you did, and definitely would have NOT spent in the dollar store. Again, those places can be psychologically manipulating. Go for what you need, and leave. Yeah, it's a little savings, but the little savings over time add up.
    As for the paycheck, I would do EXACTLY as you are doing, (blip.) I wouldn't treat it as mad money, as money you are rightfully due is not a windfall. Not touching the legacy issue.
    Happy Saturday!

    1. I'm not questioning, just making bloggie conversation. Yes, folks do things differently and the curious part of me uses my life to prod others sharing. Oh yes. We are sucked in as a family in the holidays. I admit it fully. My friend and I were actually working on a presentation but I like the walking meeting plan. Low cal flat white-just espresso and steamed skim milk.It will be a very irregular treat, but coffee meetings are part of my work life. Thanks for commenting, Meg.

  5. No one knows exactly what will be needed for the future, so we all guess using established parameters. I am like you and hope to be able to leave something to my sons. My best friends parents wanted to leave a legacy, but wanted to enjoy it with their children and grandchildren so several years in a row they gave them the maximum non-taxable gift amount. I think it is the best legacy I have ever known. They got to see and enjoy 4 of their grandchildren using their gifts to help purchase houses, plus they were able to begin college funds for their great grandchildren.
    I guess I must live life on the edge, because at least once a month, sometimes twice I indulge in a flat white, plus we go our to eat at least twice a month. I believe money is both something to use to make life enjoyable in the here and now as well as to save for the unknowns and the future. To me the line between over indulgence and diligence is not that fine. There are things other people would consider extravagant that are part of our yearly budget. They are important to us and I figure TheHub and I are the only ones who have to agree about them.


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